- - Sunday, December 15, 2013

With their laws, regulations and executive orders mandating the “greater good,” our leaders are dismantling the Constitution and nullifying the Bill of Rights.

Successful, wealthy persons are labeled greedy “1 percenters,” “rich” is equated with evil, and the term “individualist” has become synonymous with “sociopath” or “selfish.” An overzealous compassion has created burgeoning, unsustainable entitlements that make no distinction between needs and wants. We measure the success of welfare programs by the number of people who are added, rather than by the number that drop out and become self-reliant. Programs that were instituted to conditionally aid and support families in times of crisis have become “entitlements” and have been expanded to guarantee recipients an ample, satisfying lifestyle. Dependency is nurtured, which is why signs in wildlife preserves remind us not to feed the animals.

In this day and age, it is acceptable and even fashionable to demand confiscatory taxation and expropriation of wealth to support the lifestyles of the “99 percenters” in the name of fairness. The IRS claims the top 10 percent of earners are not paying a “fair share,” when in reality they account for 70 percent of the revenue collected. How much more should these people pay to accommodate the new paradigm of “fairness”?

Voices around the world, among them the International Monetary Fund, are calling for higher taxes on the wealthy. The IMF calculates that the revenue-maximizing tax rate for the United States is 56 percent to 71 percent, way above the present 45 percent top rate for federal, state and local taxes combined. Will someone with an ounce of integrity explain which international law gives governments the right to confiscate our wealth? What happens when they run out of other people’s money?

Denials and intellectual dishonesty cannot obfuscate the assault on the Constitution. No amount of government redistribution can overcome the ultimate poverty of spirit.

ED KONECNIK
Flushing, N.Y.